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I am inspired by the gentle mid-Wales landscape and its encompassing sea and coast. My imagination is also fired by what I read, driving me to respond to the words of writers and poets by making pictures. I love the liveliness of a pen or pencil line, the designer flatness of gouache, the softness of pastels and the lusciousness of oils. Acrylics allow me to express my passion for colour, and watercolours indulge my excitement at the unexpected.
"Find what you love and do that" said my tutor, "Love and joy, there must always be love and joy". For me there is love and joy in the discovery of each new image as it emerges.
The chosen title of Picturemakers first collaborative exhibition, Cynefin, has particular resonance for me as someone now closely involved with computers and knowledge management. Wikipedia, not always a trustworthy fount of knowledge, but currently fairly accurate in this area speaks of Cynefin thus:
The name Cynefin is a Welsh word which translates
literally into English as 'habitat' or 'place'. A more correct translation
would be the sense that we all have multiple pasts of which we are only partly
aware: cultural, religious, geographic, tribal etc. The name seeks to remind us
that all human interactions are strongly influenced and frequently determined
by our experiences, both through the direct influence of personal experience,
and through collective experience, such as stories or music.
Cynefin in the sense of computer software is a framework, freely available to all, which defines five ways of making sense of a complicated world. For me, drawing and painting and meeting regularly with my "Critical Friends", the other Picturemakers is my personal Cynefin framework, my way of making sense of my very varied and pressured working world.
My paintings in this exhibition draw upon sketches made one of the university glasshouses, a magical place where winter becomes summer and time stands still and the glasshouse cat snores quietly in the corner - until watering time! I hope you enjoy them.
Two works on this page are part of a series about the Abergwesyn mountain road, the old drovers' track which stretches for about 20 miles between the small hamlet of Abergwesyn and the market town of Tregaron. Edward I granted a market charter to Tregaron in 1292 and from the time of the first Elizabeth until the railway came drovers gathered in the market square to drive their cattle to the London markets. The mountain road, often impassable in winter, is a strange, spectacularly beautiful place with roads that twist and turn, often through narrow tunnels of trees, to emerge above breathtaking vistas of mountain, lake and forest.
Born in Lancashire and brought up in London and Lyme Regis, I left school longing to work in the arts. That ambition was, alas, rejected on economic grounds, though as a publican, restaurateur and particularly as a chef my creativity was to the fore. Many years of working with fabulous textiles in recent years further fed and developed my hunger for colour and texture.
An abrupt change of career in 1993 brought me into academentia at Aberystwyth where I successfully tackled a Computer Science degree after which, what seemed like a rollercoaster of coincidences, led me to me spending nearly twenty years in the Information Services Department.
Through the excellent classes offered by the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at Aber, some years ago, I achieved the Higher Education Certificate in Art and Design, which set me back on the path I dreamed of so long ago. My work has been exhibited in Aberystwyth (Toko, Morlan, Nanteos, Aberystwyth Arts Centre), Carmarthen (King Street Gallery), Rhayader (Sherbet Moon Gallery), Tregaron (Oriel Celf Cambria Arts) and Machynlleth MOMA Wales (The Tabernacl). As a member of The Picturemakers, I have exhibited regularly since 2006 in galleries and Arts Centres right across Wales.
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